Out of the blue this morning, minutes before the commissioners meeting, I got a call from Lackawanna County Commissioner Patrick O’Malley, who disputed connections he said I made in my Roderick Random column Saturday.
If you saw the column, you know I wrote that disagreement over Chris Cullen’s nomination for the special election for mayor highlights the rift between wings of the county Democratic Party.
County Commissioner Jerry Notarianni leads one wing. County Democratic chairman Chris Patrick, O’Malley and O’Malley’s friends, John Brazil and his brothers, lead the other wing.
The Patrick-O’Malley-Brazil wing clearly backed Cullen, but O’Malley disputed the idea that either he or the Brazils have any close connection to Cullen.
“We don’t have anything to do with Cullen,” O’Malley said. “I support the endorsed Democratic ticket, but that’s it. I’ve never been part of anything he’s been part of.”
O’Malley said he’s never talked to Cullen for longer than five minutes in his life and neither have the Brazil brothers. Cullen has said basically that, too.
I get it, but the fact is their wing backed Cullen, who, as I pointed out, has longed lived on a Democratic political island for various reasons that I mention in the column. He’s radioactive to Democrats in both wings, so it’s understandable why O’Malley and the Brazils don’t want to get associated too closely with Cullen.
O’Malley also pointed out that in July he shared an elevator ride with Cullen, who actually was on his way to see Notarianni.
In the column, Notarianni himself showed fear of too close an association with Cullen. He refused to say if he backs Cullen for mayor, saying he has to worry about his own re-election.
At least O’Malley has said he backs the endorsed Democratic ticket, which includes Cullen.